How to Select the Right CDL Training School near Felton Delaware
Congratulations on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a truck driving school near Felton DE. Maybe it has always been your dream to hit the open road while driving a monster tractor trailer. Or possibly you have conducted some research and have discovered that an occupation as a truck driver offers excellent income and flexible work prospects. Regardless of what your reason is, it’s imperative to obtain the proper training by picking the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are various factors that you’ll need to think about before making your ultimate selection. Location will certainly be important, particularly if you have to commute from your Felton home. The expense will also be important, but selecting a school based solely on price is not the ideal way to make sure you’ll obtain the proper education. Don’t forget, your objective is to learn the knowledge and skills that will allow you to pass the CDL exams and become a qualified truck driver. So keeping that objective in mind, just how do you choose a truck driving school? That is what we are going to discuss in the balance of this article. But first, we are going to discuss a little bit about which CDL license you will ultimately need.
Which CDL Will You Need?
To operate commercial vehicles legally within the United States and Felton DE, a driver needs to obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The three classes of licenses that one can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the subject of this article is how to choose a truck driver school, we will address Class A and Class B licenses. What differentiates each class of CDL is the type of vehicle that the driver can operate as well as the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Below are short explanations for the two classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A CDL is needed to operate any vehicle that has a GCWR of greater than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of greater than 10,000 lbs. Some of the vehicles that operators may be able to drive with Class A licenses are:
- Interstate or Intrastate Tractor Trailers
- Trucks with Double or Triple Trailers
- Tanker Trucks
- Livestock Carriers
- Class B and Class C Vehicles
Class B CDL. A Class B CDL is required to operate single vehicles having a GVWR of greater than 26,000 lbs., or a GCWR of greater than 26,000 lbs. including a towed vehicle weighing up to 10,000 lbs. A few of the vehicles that operators may be qualified to drive with Class B licenses are:
- Tractor Trailers
- Dump Trucks
- Cement Mixers
- Large Buses
- Class C Vehicles
Both Class A and Class B CDLs may also need endorsements to operate specific kinds of vehicles, for instance school or passenger buses. And a Class A licensee, with the proper needed endorsements, may operate any vehicle that a Class B license holder is authorized to drive.
How to Research a Trucking School
When you have decided which Commercial Drivers License you would like to obtain, you can begin the process of assessing the Felton DE truck driver schools that you are looking at. As already mentioned, location and cost will undoubtedly be your primary concerns. But it can’t be emphasized enough that they should not be your only considerations. Other issues, including the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are similarly or even more important. So below are several additional things that you should research while conducting your due diligence before selecting, and particularly paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Very few trucking schools in the Felton DE area are accredited because of the demanding process and cost to the schools. On the other hand, certification is more commonplace and is provided by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not required to become certified, but there are certain advantages. Potential students recognize that the training will be of the highest caliber, and that they will get lots of driving time. For example, PTDI requires 44 hours of actual driving time, not simulations or ride-alongs. So if a school’s program is certified (the program, not the school is certified), students know that the training and curriculum will measure up to the very high standards set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One indicator to help evaluate the quality of a trucking school is how long it has been in operation. A negatively ranked or a fly by night school normally will not stay in business very long, so longevity is a plus. On the other hand, even the best of Felton DE schools had to begin from their opening day of training, so consider it as one of multiple qualifications. You can also find out what the school’s history is relating to successful licensing and employment of its graduates. If a school won’t share those numbers, look elsewhere. The schools should also have associations with regional and national trucking firms. Having numerous contacts not only affirms a superior reputation within the industry, but also boosts their job assistance program for graduates. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to check with the Delaware licensing authority to verify that the CDL trucking schools you are considering are in good standing.
How Good is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools must be licensed in Delaware and employ teachers that are experienced and trained. We will cover more about the teachers in the following section. In addition, the student to instructor proportion should be no greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any greater, then students will not be receiving the individual attention they will need. This is especially true regarding the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And watch out for any school that professes it can teach you to drive trucks in a comparatively short period of time. Training to be a truck driver and to drive a tractor trailer professionally takes time. The majority of Felton DE schools provide training courses that run from 3 weeks to as long as two months, based on the license class or kind of vehicle.
How Experienced are the Trainers? As already stated, it’s important that the instructors are trained to teach driving methods and experienced as both instructors and drivers. Even though several states have minimum driving time criteria to qualify as an instructor, the more successful driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also important that the teachers stay up to date with industry advancements or any new regulations or changes in existing laws. Evaluating teachers might be a bit more intuitive than other criteria, and perhaps the best method is to pay a visit to the school and talk to the teachers face to face. You can also speak with a few of the students completing the training and ask if they are satisfied with the level of instruction and the teacher’s qualification to train them.
Plenty of Driving Time? Most importantly, a good trucking school will furnish lots of driving time to its students. After all, isn’t that what it’s all about? Driving time is the actual time spent behind the wheel driving a truck. Even though the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are essential training tools, they are no alternative for real driving. The more instruction that a student receives behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will be. Although driving time varies among schools, a good standard is 32 hours at a minimum. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish at least 44 hours of driving time. Check with the Felton DE schools you are looking at and find out how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Independent or Captive ? It’s possible to receive discounted or even free training from some truck driving schools if you make a commitment to drive for a particular carrier for a defined time period. This is called contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So instead of having relationships with many different trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only work with one company. The benefit is receiving less expensive or even free training by surrendering the flexibility to initially work wherever you choose. Clearly contract training has the potential to limit your income prospects when beginning your new career. But for many it may be the ideal way to obtain affordable training. Just remember to find out if the Felton DE schools you are considering are captive or independent so that you can make an informed decision.
Provide Onsite CDL Testing? There are a number of states that will allow 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driving schools for its students. If onsite testing is permitted in Delaware, find out if the schools you are looking at are DMV certified to provide it. One advantage is that it is more convenient than battling with graduates from other schools for test times at Delaware testing facilities. It is also an indication that the DMV views the authorized schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Class Times Convenient? As previously mentioned, truck driver training is just 1 to 2 months long. With such a brief term, it’s essential that the Felton DE school you choose offers flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. For example, if you’re having difficulty learning a certain driving maneuver, then the instructor should be prepared to commit more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still holding a job while going to training, then the class scheduling needs to be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other responsibilities.
Is Job Assistance Provided? Once you have obtained your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be eager to start your new career. Verify that the schools you are contemplating have job placement programs. Ask what their job placement percentage is and what average salary their graduates start at. Also, ask which local and national trucking firms their graduates are placed with for hiring. If a school has a low job placement rate or not many Felton DE employers hiring their graduates, it may be a clue to search elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Trucking schools are similar to colleges and other Felton DE area technical or vocational schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being offered. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have a financial assistance department, or at a minimum someone who can help you understand the options and forms that need to be completed.
Thinking of a Truck Drivier School near Felton DE?
If you are considering enrolling in a CDL Training School in the Felton Delaware area, following is some interesting and perhaps useful information about the location of your new school campus.
Rebecca Latimer Felton
Rebecca Ann Latimer Felton (June 10, 1835 – January 24, 1930) was an American writer, lecturer, reformer, and politician who became the first woman to serve in the United States Senate, though only serving for one day. She was the most prominent woman in Georgia in the Progressive Era, and was honored by appointment to the Senate. She was sworn in November 21, 1922, and served just 24 hours. At 87 years, nine months, and 22 days old, she was the oldest freshman senator to enter the Senate. To date, she is also the only woman to have served as a Senator from Georgia. Her husband William Harrell Felton was a member of the United States House of Representatives and Georgia House of Representatives and she ran his campaigns. She was a prominent society woman; an advocate of prison reform, women's suffrage and educational modernization; a white supremacist and slave owner; and one of the few prominent women who spoke in favor of lynching. Bartley reports that by 1915 she "was championing a lengthy feminist program that ranged from prohibition to equal pay for equal work."
Felton was born in Decatur, Georgia on June 10, 1835. She was the daughter of Charles Latimer, a prosperous planter, merchant, general store owner. Charles was a Maryland native who moved to DeKalb County in the 1820s, and his wife, Eleanor Swift Latimer, was from Morgan, Georgia. Felton was the oldest of four children; her sister, Mary Latimer, also became prominent in women's reforms in the early 20th century. When she was 15, her father sent her to live with relatives in the town of Madison where she attended a private school within a local Presbyterian church. She then went on to attend Madison Female College, from which she received a classical liberal arts education. She graduated at the top of her class at age 17 in 1852.
In October 1853, she married Dr. William Harrell Felton at her home and moved to live with him on his plantation just north of Cartersville, Georgia. She gave birth to five children, one daughter and four sons. Only one, Howard Erwin Felton, survived childhood. In the aftermath of the Civil War, their plantation was destroyed. Because they were now unable to rely on slave labor as a means of producing income, Dr. Felton returned to farming as a way to earn income until there was enough money to open a school. Felton and her husband opened Felton Academy in Cartersville, where she and her husband both taught.
CDL Programs Felton DE
Selecting the right truck driving school is an essential first step to beginning your new vocation as a long distance or local truck driver. The skill sets taught at school will be those that forge a new career behind the wheel. There are several options available and understanding them is vital to a new driver’s success. You originally came to our website because of your interest in CDL Programs. However, you must get the appropriate training in order to drive a large commercial vehicle in a professional and safe manner. If you are short on money or financing, you may want to look into a captive school. You will pay a lower or even no tuition by agreeing to drive for their contracted carrier. Or you can enroll in an independent truck driving school and have the option of driving for the trucking company of your choice, or one of several associated with the school. It’s your decision. But no matter how you receive your training, you will soon be joining a profession that helps our country move as a professional trucker in Felton DE.
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